Samsung is courting Nvidia and AMD to give Galaxy smartphones a leg up in the graphics department, apparently.
A new report claims that Samsung is “in talks” with the two computing giants in a bid to license their GPU technologies. That’s according to specialist blog Sammobile, which cites information from an anonymous source familiar with the matter.
It’s said that Samsung hopes to use GPU technologies from one of the two companies in its own Exynos series of SoCs (system-on-a-chip). Currently, Samsung uses British semiconductor giant ARM’s Mali line of GPUs in the Exynos chips, which power top-end smartphones like the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Galaxy Note 7.
It’s no surprise that Nvidia is in the running, considering the strong performance and reception of this year’s Pascal architecture (read: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080). However, AMD has also successfully landed a deal with Sony to provide its Polaris architecture for the upcoming PS4 Pro, so either firm could woo Samsung.
Samsung has been trying to wrest control over its smartphone hardware for a while, seemingly in an effort to reduce dependence on third-party suppliers like Qualcomm. For instance, Samsung now ships more smartphones running its own Exynos processors than ever before, which means it uses less Qualcomm-built Snapdragon chips. It’s a similar story to Apple, which, like Samsung, still utilises Qualcomm’s modem technology.
So when might we see an Nvidia-powered Samsung phone? We’re still around six months away from the launch of the Galaxy S8, so there’s a chance that Samsung could turn things around quickly and integrate a new GPU in its processors. But it seems more probable that 2018’s Galaxy S9 – should it even exist – would feature a Samsung GPU built using licensed Nvidia or ARM technology, rather than depending on ARM’s Mali or Qualcomm’s Adreno graphics processors.
Related: iPhone 8
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